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Frodo, portrayed by Elijah Wood, is a fixture in the "Lord of the Rings" movies.

PIERRE VINET, New Line Productions

Theater event has a familiar 'Ring' to it

  • Article by: RANDY A. SALAS
  • Star Tribune
  • June 14, 2011 - 8:30 AM

Even the geekiest of fans might need wizardly powers to keep track of the many editions of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy that have hit home video over the years. Widescreen, full-screen, theatrical, extended, gift set, combo, VHS, Blu-ray -- there's been no shortage of ways to watch Peter Jackson's films repeatedly.

So is there really an audience for one-night-only theater showings of all three films nationwide? By the Eye of Sauron, there is.

Just ask Michael Isenberg, a 36-year-old inventory analyst from New Hope who already has tickets for Tuesday night's screening of "The Fellowship of the Ring" at the Showplace Icon in St. Louis Park. He hopes to return the following two Tuesdays for "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King."

"It's an actual event to see movies of this magnitude in an awesome theater like Showplace with a bunch of other die-hard fans," Isenberg said.

It also helps that each film will be shown in its hour-longer extended edition and will feature an introduction by Jackson from the set of "The Hobbit," his next cinematic entry from the fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien. In fact, the screenings are being staged at nine Twin Cities theaters by Fathom Events and Warner Home Video to promote the release of "The Lord of the Rings: Extended Edition" on Blu-ray on June 28, a 15-disc set with 26 hours of extras.

Each film ($12.50, more info at www.fathomevents.com) will start at 7 p.m. in theaters and run to at least 11 p.m. It's enough to test the posterior and bladder of any fan.

"Luckily, I've seen all three movies so many times that if I do have to take a bathroom break, I know which spots to take that break," Isenberg said, "and the movie will keep playing in my head anyway. The great thing about these movies is that when they're over, I look around and wonder how four hours could pass so quickly. Yeah, I'm a geek."

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